||Eagle Point Trails
Monarch Mountain Loop, Eagle Egress
The Eagle Point Ski Resort at the top of Beaver Canyon has a couple of
short bike trails with beautiful scenery. Built in 2013 to be ready for
the 2014 season, the trails are fun and well-built. The only complaint is,
well, the riding was so nice I wanted more. But it's a nice diversion from the low-land heat --
and if you're heading north on I-15, it's your last biking singletrack for 130
miles. I rode
everything a couple of times in both directions. It was worthwhile.
View of Lake Peak to the east of the
Monarch Mountain Loop. Photos and review by Bruce
on August 7, 2014.
|For you Utah old-timers, Eagle Point was formerly Mount
Holly then became Elk Meadows. There's a general store and lodge on
Highway 153 (a mile downhill from the upper lodge and 1/4 mile from the
bottom of the Eagle Egress trail). The rides start from
the upper Skyline Lodge on the slopes of Mount Holly, 19 miles up Beaver
The lodge parking is at 10,300 feet altitude, and the riding will
take you to 10,500. Because of the altitude, the riding season here is
short: July through September.
All alone in a giant parking lot on a
beautiful summer's day. 10:30 a.m., 62 degrees in the shade. Perfect
biking weather. Here's where you need to pedal to find your ride.
The Monarch Mountain Loop takes you up to the edge
of the tree line. This loop is 3.2 miles with 400 vertical feet of
climbing, topping out at 10,500 feet. You can ride it either direction.
Riding is easier-intermediate, but the altitude will affect your climbing.
The Eagle Egress Trail is a 1.7-mile
downhill-preferred trail that extends from the lodge down to the road near
the highway, with 300 vertical feet of descent. This also would be an
Typical trail view on a traverse. Once
you're on the singletrack, the altitude shouldn't bother you much. The
climbing is gentle and interrupted by flattish traverses.
||The Monarch Mountain Loop starts northeast of the lodge -- actually
between the lodge and the log fence east of the parking lot. There were no
trail markings near the lodge itself. I had to explore a bit to find the
trail. Signs may appear by the time you visit, but pay attention to the
ride instruction so you don't waste time hunting for the trail.
Going counterclockwise, we've
descended a bit on the lift road to find the first trail sign. (Couldn't
follow tire tracks because the area had just finished a week of very heavy
|It's probably best to make your first ride
counter-clockwise, because you'll have less chance of blundering off into
the woods at the bottom of the loop.
From the parking lot, ride straight east-southeast (the direction
you're facing as you pass between the fence and the lodge). Descend gently
down a ski slope. Watch for the "Broad Street" trail sign with a
little blue "Monarch" sign and veer right. Follow this around a
semi-circle path of narrow ski slope, then keep straight when it reaches a
meadow. Traverse over to the lift road (the same one you were on when you
forked to Broad Street) and descend to just in front of the lift.
We've exited Broad Street. We'll head
for that lift road and descend under the ski lift at the bottom of the
||Now veer to the left, following the doubletrack around the
trees. Don't go below the lift -- you're heading up the draw to the left
of the lift (again, no signs). You've dropped almost 200 vertical feet.
(And it will be a tad unpleasant to climb back up those rough chunks on
the lift road when you ride it clockwise.)
Get off the doubletrack just before it
gets steeper. Watch for the trail on your left. It's easy to miss.
|Now begin climbing up the straight double-track. After 0.4
miles of climbing, watch for a singletrack forking sharply on your left.
It was marked by a blue sign on a log, almost invisible in the shadows as
I looked uphill on the doubletrack.
Nice riding. Like butter.
||The trail will now meander back and forth as it climbs the
mountain. It will occasionally cross ski slopes and give you a view. Much
of the riding is in aspen and fir forest.
Turns are a bit tighter and flatter than I wanted them to be -- easy to
turn uphill when at a slow pace, but not at speed. And on the downhill it
required a big drop in speed to navigate them.
View east down Beaver Canyon.
|The top of the loop is at the upper end of the Monarch ski
lift. Pass to the left of the lift. Drop 100 feet down the lift road
before taking a sharp 150-degree turn onto singletrack.
Top of the loop, viewed as we're
riding counterclockwise. Head just to the left of the lift and look
downhill 100 feet for the singletrack.
||I liked the singletrack better in the clockwise direction
(the opposite of this description), as the turns seemed to work better.
This, however, is counterbalanced by having to climb up the chunky granite
of a steepish lift road from the bottom of the loop. And that's not my
But absolutely, try the loop in both directions.
To ride the loop clockwise, ride north inside the fence on dirt road.
Near the end of the fence, find a singletrack angling off to the
northeast. Once you find it, the rest is easy -- until you hit the bottom
of the Monarch lift. But if you're confused, just remember you can climb
straight up the lift road all the way to the lodge.
Eagle Egress downhill-preferred trail
||The Eagle Egress trail starts behind the lodge. Go inside
the log fence. Ride south (to your right) past the lodge building, then
turn to the right and go directly UNDER the deck of the lodge. At the far
end of the deck, you'll see that you're now on singletrack heading west.
View as we leave the shadow of the
lodge deck. We're looking northwest.
|The trail will make a long traverse around the hill,
following the general arc of the paved road (but out of sight). Once you
get all the way around the hill, the trail will start to wiggle back and
Hitting a well-bermed turn in the fir
||The trail repeated crosses two ski slopes. One has the Elk
Meadows ski lift. (Once again, this trail has the potential for
lift-served biking, going from lift-top to lift-bottom.)
View down the Elk Meadows ski slope.
We'll cross it a few times.
|Most of the trail is very smooth dirt. There was only one
rock-garden section, and it was easy enough that just about any rider
could bounce through. Turns have high berms that allow for railing at
speed. (They also make nice high-speed climbing turns should you be lucky
enough to be all alone on the mountain on a weekday. After all, it says
"downhill preferred" not "uphill prohibited.")
Lots of TLC went into these turns.
||The trail ends near the lift bottom at a spot of road-side
If there are other riders on the mountain, be a mensch and don't try to
ride uphill on the trail. Either shuttle the ride or climb back uphill on
the pavement. It's less than a mile back to the top on the road.
|Getting there: From I-15 (whether northbound or
southbound) take the first Beaver exit. Follow the road from the exit
until it becomes the main drag of Beaver. Turn east (toward the mountains)
at 200 North -- Highway 153. Drive up Beaver Canyon 19 miles as your
altitude goes from 5600 to 10,000 feet. Keep straight as you pass the road
to the first lodge and store on your right. Turn left on the next paved
road to your left, signed Skyline Lodge. Drive north 1 mile on this road,
which ends at the Skyline Lodge parking lot. Go to the entry through the
log fence next to the lodge to start the ride.
Bike services and rental: ?
Water and supplies: General store off 153, 1.3 miles away
Bathrooms: 2014 = porta-potties east of parking
Camping: Fishlake National Forest campgrounds lower in Beaver Canyon